What is FTL Shipping: How FTL Works and Its Benefits

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What Is FTL Shipping (Full Truckload Shipping)?

Full Truckload Shipping (FTL) is a logistics and transportation method. In this shipping method, a shipper contracts an entire truck (usually a semi-truck or trailer) to transport their goods from one location to another.

Regarding FTL shipments, the carrier sends a vehicle to the pickup location at the predetermined hour. The truck is loaded and sealed with the shipper’s freight. The goods are then transported to the drop-off destination, with no stops in between. Due to less goods handling along the route, transportation durations are shortened, and damage risks are decreased.

FTL freight shipments are the most cost-effective option when a shipper has enough freight to fill a trailer. Based on the size of freight, FTL trucks can be dry vans, reefer trucks, or flatbed trucks.

What is FTL Shipping

Benefits of FTL Shipping

FTL shipping offers numerous benefits. From time-saving to cost-effectiveness, a business can profit in many ways using FTL shipping methods. Some of the major advantages offered by FTL shipping include:

Faster Transit Times

FTL shipments generally move from the origin to the final destination without making any stops. Thus, they reach their destinations faster than the LTL shipments as they don’t involve multiple stops for loading and unloading at various locations.

Reduced Risk of Damage

As FTL shipments do not involve making multiple stops for loading and unloading, there is less handling and transfer of items. As a result, there is less chance of transportation-related damage.

Enhanced Security

Regarding FTL shipments, the cargo remains sealed and untouched throughout the journey. It minimizes the risk of theft and tampering. Thus, FTL shipments are much safer compared to their LTL counterparts.

Greater Control

As there is only one shipper’s goods in the freight, shippers have more control over the transportation process in the case of FTL shipping. They can choose routes, schedules, and carriers as per their requirements.

Higher Payload

FTL shipments can carry larger goods than LTL shipments. Thus, they prove to be very cost-effective for bulk shipments.

Less Complexity

FTL shipments are easier to manage. Because there’s only one shipper, one destination, and one set of paperwork, they involve less complexity.

How FTL Shipping Works

How FTL Shipping Works

Let us go through the step-by-step process you need to follow in case of FTL shipping.


The first thing that a shipper must do is to contact the carrier or freight broker to arrange an FTL shipment. To make the booking, the shipper has to provide certain details about the cargo, such as its dimensions, weight, pickup location, and delivery destination.


To ensure that the cargo is loaded safely onto the truck, the shipper is responsible for loading the goods.


After the loading, the truck starts moving toward the destination following the selected route and schedule. The cargo moves directly from the origin to the destination without making intermediate stops.


When the shipment arrives at its destination, it is unloaded. Depending on the arrangement between the shipper and the carrier, this might be done by the consignee, the receiver, or a third party.


It is essential to maintain proper shipment documentation. It includes the bill of lading, shipping manifest, and required permits or certificates. These documents ensure compliance with regulations and facilitate a smooth process of tracking and invoicing.


The last step is the payment for the FTL service. The shipper pays the carrier or the freight broker based on the agreed-upon rates and terms.


FTL shipping is a method of transporting goods wherein the freight carries the goods of a single shipper. It offers several benefits, such as shorter transit times, reduced risk of damage, and greater control. Booking the truck, loading the goods, traveling to the destination, unloading the cargo, keeping the necessary paperwork, and paying for the shipment are all steps in the shipping process. FTL shipping is particularly suitable for large shipments. It can also be the best resort when speed and security are essential.

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